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Om Puri hops on to Congress bandwagon

March 09, 2004 20:51 IST

Well-known film star Om Puri on Tuesday joined the Congress stating that the country now needs to 'teach the Bharatiya Janata Party a lesson'.

The popular actor is known for his contribution to experimental theatre and films.

According to him, the BJP has not tackled problems like unemployment effectively and the thrust of the new government should be development and not 'singing bhajans and talking of mandir'.

"I had voted for the BJP the last time but now wish to vote for the Congress," he told newspersons after announcing his entry into the Congress in the presence of party spokesman Kapil Sibal in Mumbai.

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So far, Puri's participation in the electoral process was limited to casting his vote. "But now, I feel I should influence the thinking of the people and agreed to the request of the Congress to join the party," he added.

The BJP government's failure to stop the riots in Gujarat after the Godhra incident hurt Puri deeply and he feels that the BJP cannot be forgiven for it. "The reaction to the Godhra incident was an expected one, but the failure of government to stop them (the rioters) immediately made me wonder if they were patronised by the state," he said.

According to him, the Congress has learnt its lessons from the 1984 riots in Delhi and hoped it would not repeat the mistake.

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